It rarely happens, but it's possible for your garage door to come off of its tracks. Garage door derailments usually occur when the track itself has been damaged or has somehow become undone from the wall it's attached to. Leaving your garage door off its tracks could result in severe damage to the garage door itself, which is why it's important to get your garage door back on track as soon as possible.

Putting Your Garage Door Back on Track

The first thing you'll need to do is make sure the garage door is completely disconnected from the garage door opener, if you happen to have one. You can do this by locating and pulling the emergency cord that disconnects the trolley from the garage door.

Next, you want to locate the source of the trouble, which could be a bent or loose section of track. At this point, you'll need to raise the door just enough so that the rollers start to align with the damaged section of garage door track. Place a pair of locking pliers on the track beneath the garage door to hold it in place.

Use another pair of pliers to widen the garage door track just enough to allow the rollers to slide into the track.

Repairing the Track

Once you have the garage door situated within its tracks, you'll need to close the opening you've previously made in the track. Place a small plot of wood against the outer edge of the track. Once the block of wood is in place, use a wooden mallet to hammer the track straight and narrow. Follow the same steps for any dents and deformations you happen to run across as you inspect the garage door track.

Loose tracks can be taken care of by simply re-tightening the fasteners holding the track to the garage door wall. Check for any missing threads on the fasteners or the wall, as this could indicate the need to refurbish or replace fastening points on the wall or replace stripped screws.

After you're finished taking care of the garage door tracks, grab a bubble lever and make sure the garage door sits level in relation to the garage floor. An uneven alignment could cost the garage door to jam up or become loose once more.

After you're done, remove the pliers from the track and let the garage door down gently. Reconnect the door with the opener and make sure the door opens and closes correctly.

Taking Preventative Steps

To keep your garage door from going off the rails in the future, you may want to consider these preventative measures:

  • Thoroughly clean out your garage door tracks, as dirt and grime can collect within the track and prevent the rollers from moving smoothly and uniformly.
  • Make sure the garage door tracks are well-lubricated with silicone-based lubricant. Dry tracks can create jerky motion, making it more difficult to open and close the garage door properly and making it more likely for the door to leap off the tracks.
  • Take a close look at the current state of your garage door rollers. If they appear severely worn or damaged in any way, you should have these rollers replaced before placing your garage door back on track.

When to Call In the Professionals

If the garage door track is bent or damaged in numerous spots and if it's taking too long to beat your garage door's track back into shape, then you're better off having it replaced altogether, preferably by a certified and knowledgeable contractor. You can also call on your contractor to step in if you get stuck somewhere during a DIY replacement.

A misaligned or derailed garage door could also be a symptom of more serious structural problems that should be checked by a professional like those at America's Garage Doors LLC as soon as possible.